Khalid, Olympia Vitalis, Bryson Tiller, More New R&B For A Fool’s Paradise

Q2 is off to an interesting start with hailstorms in Los Angeles and earthquakes in New York; good music is always the best distraction.

Bryson Tiller and Tori Kelly have released self-titled albums that aptly depict where they are personally and professionally. Meanwhile, rising stars Olympia Vitalis, Benita, and Amber Mark are all proving why women are dominating the R&B scenes with their range of singles. Jessie Reyez rounds out this week’s selects with her single stemming from a soundtrack to a highly-anticipated sequel.

From unexpected samples to unpredictable tones, there’s something here for everyone as we sit back quietly and let the music do its thing.

Khalid – “Please Don’t Fall In Love With Me”

On the fifth anniversary of his sophomore album, Khalid returns with his latest single, “Please Don’t Fall In Love With Me,” that brilliantly juxtaposes the record it samples—Alicia Keys’ 2009 ballad, “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready).”

While Keys sings about being ready to commit, Khalid urges his lady not to compare him to her last partner and not to fall in love. In an open letter about the single, he wrote, “Is that so bad? […] I don’t know if I really miss you, or maybe the idea of you, but how can I move forward?”

“It’s “Please Don’t Fall In Love With Me” is the lead single from his long-awaited new album, which he says is his “best and most personal album yet.” Of the LP, he notes, “The last few years consisted of me working diligently on what I presume to be my best and most personal album yet. I’ve spent an unhealthy amount of time in the studio working with some of my favorite creatives just to deliver this amazing body of work and now I finally get to share a piece of me in my new era with my day one fans!”

Olympia Vitalis – “Fool’s Paradise”

Olympia Vitalis was a voice we didn’t realize was missing from our rotation. The West London-based soul singer oscillates between R&B and jazz, but what drew us in was her latest single, “Fool’s Paradise.” Although the song stems from a collection of reflective tunes she penned over the past year, “Fool’s Paradise” taps into a familiar sense of confusion and longing that breeds hope.

Of the song, Vitalis explained, “This is definitely a timestamp for the beginning of last year for me. When I could feel music was a potential long-term plan, and when I decided to take the risk and leave my job in pursuit of being a full-time musician. It’s a nice song to look back on and see how far I’ve come even in a year.” We can’t wait to see more from this budding star.

Bryson Tiller – Bryson Tiller

Bryson Tiller returns with his highly anticipated eponymous album. After a three-year hiatus, the crooner stepped back onto the scene with “Whatever She Wants” and “Outside,” which stay true to his trapsoul core while also displaying his growth.

However, records like the Victoria Monét-assisted wordplay, “Persuasion,” the sensual “Attention,” and the catchy “No Thank You” kept us tuned in until the end. Bryson Tiller is overall described as an a “declaration of artistic independence and a tribute to the relentless pursuit of greatness.”

Benita – “The Worst”

Benita’s “The Worst” was our introduction to her music and it was worth the wait. Her sultry voice paired with the catchy hook is too good to ignore, even if you really should leave that situationship alone. “Ooh you’re the worst/ I wanna hate you, but I’m in too deep,” she sings. Benita explained in a statement that “The Worst” is a “cheeky way of saying ‘I hate that I love you’” because the chemistry is there, but the commitment is not.

Nonetheless, the relatable anthem is a love song, unlike her prior releases, which are usually heavy in nature. We foresee “The Worst” becoming a hit during live performances.

Tori Kelly – TORI.

Tori Kelly has finally shared her new album, TORI. (not be confused with her EP, tori). The LP showcases a version of the incomparable songbird that we’ve never seen before.

“This album is an expression of every side of me; some of them I’ve never shown before,” Kelly explained in a statement. “I decided to name it ‘TORI.’ because this music is me confidently stepping into myself as an artist and as a woman. This feels like a self-titled moment. I am ready to say, ‘This is who I am.’”

The first track, “thing u do,” is an upbeat dance record that makes you want to catch a groove in the middle of the street while daydreaming about a lover. It leads into her comeback single, “missin u,” and her recent empowering anthem, “high water.” TORI. commands your attention with its double-entendre meanings and versatile range.

Jessie Reyez – “Child Of Fire”

While we await Jessie Reyez’s next masterpiece, she’s teased us with breadcrumbs from a movie soundtrack. Reyez’s latest drop is “Child Of Fire” from Netflix’s Rebel Moon: Songs Of The Rebellion.

Produced by Dot Da Genius, the enchanting ballad is one where she’s reading men for filth. “Good guy, so bad/ Wanna be the good guy so bad/ L’s for lies/ L’s for loser too, so I got no slack,” she sings. This one is for those aware of the red flags and are ready to do something about it.

Amber Mark – “Comin’ Around Again”

Amber Mark is putting on for the lovers per usual with her new single, “Comin’ Around Again.”

The hypnotizing lures in listeners as she reflects on meeting someone who could become the one. “Boy, I ain’t got high hopes/ But damn you’re kinda fine though/ So let’s see where the night goes/ Maybe love’s comin’ around again,” Mark sings. Though the attraction and interest are evident, she reminds listeners that a slow burn never hurt anybody. This is the first release since dropping her debut album, Three Dimensions Deep, in 2022.